Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Buzz: Berkman not ready to retire yet
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Lance Berkman pushed on Wednesday, trying to convince himself that he can still be an effective offensive weapon for the Rangers.
Berkman hit in the batting cages Wednesday, and he will travel and continue his rehab on the Rangers' 10-game road trip to Oakland, Los Angeles and Houston. Retirement is not in the picture yet.
Berkman said Wednesday that he hasn't spoken with anyone in the front office about his situation. General manager Jon Daniels said he would talk to Berkman either Wednesday or Thursday and take Berkman's pulse on where he stands on playing again this season.
"This is a guy with a lot of pride that has accomplished a lot in the game that is not physically able to perform at a level that he's comfortable at," Daniels said. "I know he's been rehabbing, trying to get back, and his body hasn't seemed to respond so far."
Berkman, 37, is motivated to help the Rangers since a potential suspension for Nelson Cruz looms and no bat was added at the trade deadline. The Rangers could still make a waiver-period trade.
"I don't think the landscape is settled enough to make a good decision yet," he said. "If I think I can be that guy, then yeah. This isn't cut-and-dried stuff."
Berkman again said Wednesday that the lure to play is still there, as comfortable as he would be riding off into the sunset.
"The one thing about this game is no matter what you feel like off the field, no matter what you feel like in the dugout, as soon as you step in the batter's box, it's a different animal," Berkman said. "You can't help but compete at your highest level. It's literally a fight for survival once you get in there."
Washington on deadline: Manager Ron Washington applauded the front office's efforts to acquire another hitter before Wednesday's trade deadline. He said it's now up to David Murphy, Mitch Moreland and others to emerge from slumps and produce.
"You don't make a deal just to make a deal," Washington said. "We just couldn't make anything fit. The season isn't over with yet. We just have to get Moreland and Murphy and other guys going together. I know we're capable of it."
Moreland looking better: Moreland came in as a defensive replacement late in Tuesday's 14-11 victory, and he had an opposite-field single and a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 10th that came ahead of Leonys Martin's walk-off, three-run homer.
"Mitch had two great at-bats," Washington said. "He did some early work yesterday and talked about getting back to what he does best, and that's hitting the ball to the other field."
No worries with Tanner: Tanner Scheppers had a tough eighth inning Tuesday night, allowing four runs as he struggled to keep his fastball down in the strike zone.
He's not worried, and neither is his manager. Scheppers has had a light workload since the All-Star break, appearing in five games and throwing 4 2/3 innings.
"He looked a little rusty," Washington said. "He hasn't thrown a heckuva a lot since the All-Star break and before the All-Star break."